Reliable and specific radioimmunoassays have been developed for the gut hormones secretin, gastrin, cholecystokinin, pancreatic glucagon, VIP, GIP, motilin, and enteroglucagon. Using these assays, the relative pattern of distribution of the gut hormones has been determined using the same bowel extracts for all measurements. VIP occurred in high concentration in all regions of the bowel, whereas secretin, GIP, motilin, and CCK were predominantly localised in the proximal small intestine. Pancreatic glucagon was almost exclusively confined to the pancreas. Like VIP, enteroglucagon also exhibited a wide pattern of distribution but was maximal in the ileum. The acid ethanol extraction method that was used was found to be unsuitable for gastrin. On gel chromatography of the extracts, motilin and VIP eluted as single molecular species in identical position to the pure porcine peptides. CCK, pancreatic glucagon, enteroglucagon and GIP were all multiform.
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